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Swift fox Vulpes velox reintroductions: a review of release protocols



A reintroduction programme is a way to restore a species that has become extirpated from a part or all of its range. The Swift fox Vulpes velox has been the focus of a number of reintroductions over areas of Canada and the northern United States from which it had previously been extirpated. A common problem of reintroduction programmes is the lack of published information about the technical aspects of actually capturing, handling, transporting and releasing animals. This information is useful for finding ways to mitigate stress and thus improve the post-release survival of individuals. This review gathers together the available literature along with unpublished reports on previous Swift fox reintroductions and recommends improvements to release protocols from initial capture and/or handling and post-release strategies so as to lessen stress and potentially increase survival of reintroduced Swift fox.